We're an NDIS provider in Grafton — meet Barbara Bevilacqua, Behaviour Support Practitioner
07 June 2022
We're a Registered NDIS provider in Grafton
Do you live in regional New South Wales? Ability Consultants is a Registered NDIS provider which supports NDIS participants in metropolitan and regional NSW, including Grafton, Yamba and more. We support individuals and the important people in their life by providing positive behaviour support.
Today, I sat down with behaviour support practitioner, Barbara Bevilacqua. Barbara lives on the beautiful North Coast of New South Wales, not far from Grafton.
Meet Barbara, PBS Practitioner and NDIS provider in Grafton
Hi Barbara, thanks for catching up today! Tell us a bit about you!
Hi Melody, it’s lovely to have this conversation. I’m a Behaviour Support Practitioner with a history in allied health and disability support work. I moved from the Northern Beaches of Sydney to Yaegl Country late last year. After a short stint in Yamba, we have settled into Lawrence which is a small town slightly in the Clarence Valley. I love spending time with my family, in the garden or going to the beach.
Positive Behaviour Support in Grafton
You’re a positive behaviour support practitioner — why do you think positive behaviour support is so important?
I think positive behaviour support (PBS) is important because it creates a real opportunity for growth and development for the participant and reduces the stress on a support system that may already feel stretched. PBS also creates another layer of advocacy and accountability, because the participant is centrally placed and their quality of life is always the prime concern. I'm grateful that I'm able to provide positive behaviour support in Grafton.
You’re a member of the Association of Behaviour Analysis. What exactly is behaviour analysis and how does it influence your work?
Behaviour analysis tries to understand why people do what they do and how we can create the best conditions for a person to thrive. There is a strong element of data collection which enables us to see what’s working or not working; from here we continue to refine and adjust the behaviour support plan as necessary. Data collection can also reveal patterns or triggers that were previously unnoticed.
I come from a holistic background so it’s natural for me to gravitate under the surface, to the areas of life you can’t see. I really try to learn how a person feels; are they emotionally nourished and supported, do they feel engaged in their lives etc. Applied behaviour analysis techniques aim to enhance these vital areas in real-world situations through positive reinforcement, skill building, and goal setting. In this way, behaviour analysis allows me to ground my work into something visible and measurable.
Working as an NDIS provider in Grafton
Barbara, the Coffs Harbour — Grafton region covers a lot of ground. Which areas do you support?
I support NDIS participants in a lot of areas in the Clarence Valley. This includes Lawrence, Grafton, Yamba, Maclean, Brooms Head, Gulmurrad, Townsend, Iluka, Wooli and anywhere in between.
Accessing NDIS providers can be challenging. Does living in a regional area make behaviour support challenging? How do you overcome these challenges?
I think the biggest challenge of behaviour support in the regions is a lack of access to services such as NDIS providers. This is not limited to accessing positive behaviour support but I have seen this extend outwards into other areas of support including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, the list goes on. It can be especially tough if you have a specialised set of needs.
One way to overcome these challenges is by accessing online service via telePBS. This is an effective way to provide support to people who would otherwise go without. An online behaviour support service also gives the individual another advocate to provide clinical evidence to the NDIS about gaps in their care. I have one client where we decided a mixed modality service would best suit his needs, where we utilise both face to face meetings and online meetings. This makes a good compromise when the situation allows.
Working in the disability sector and with NDIS providers in Grafton and beyond
You’ve worked in the disability sector for over ten years. What’s a key takeaway from your experience that shapes the way you approach positive behaviour support?
The biggest takeaway from my experience is the importance of person-centred support. I like to walk into every new experience with curiosity and fresh eyes. First and foremost, I am there to learn about a new person, get to know them and what makes them tick. They are the experts in their own life.
Ability Consultants is just one organisation in a sea of NDIS providers — what attracted you to Ability Consultants?
There were a couple of reasons Ability Consultants appealed to me. On the most practical level, I was looking for an NDIS provider that serviced the Grafton portion of the Clarence Valley as this is my base. On a more personal level, I align strongly with Ability Consultants’ ethos of freedom and social connection. I am grateful to work for a company that works wholeheartedly to increase the quality of life of others.
Life in Grafton, NSW
What is your favourite aspect of living on the Coffs Harbour — Grafton region of New South Wales?
I would have to say my quality of life has increased since moving out of the city. We had quite a small apartment and we now have a house. We recently had a donkey and a horse come into our backyard from somewhere up the road. That would never happen in Sydney. I find there is a quality about Yaegl Country that is indescribable but you feel it on the inside. I have been blown away by the stunning beaches, the mighty Clarence is definitely mighty and I have a new respect for the river system and tides, especially living in Lawrence which is reliant on a car ferry!
You’re located not far from Grafton — what would you say is a must-see or must-do for people visiting Grafton?
Grafton is really pretty. The giant Moreton Bay fig trees that line the streets are majestic. I love the old buildings, I think it was the first city established on the Northern Rivers. Grafton also has hundreds of Jacaranda trees and in October-November when they all bloom the town explodes in purple. My favourite places in Grafton are the Art Gallery and Heart & Soul cafe. I think it's very cool that Grafton is an RV friendly town so if people are visiting, it makes a great central base to springboard from to all the surrounding attractions of the Clarence Valley such as Yamba, Angourie, Brooms Head and that’s only covering the coastal attractions.
Ability Consultants is an NDIS provider in Grafton
Ability Consultants is a Registered NDIS provider in Australia. We support NDIS participants in all states of Australia.
In New South Wales, we support NDIS participants in Sydney and throughout regional NSW including Grafton, Yamba, Maclean, Gulmarrad, Iluka, Lawrence and more.
We support NDIS participants in regional NSW by working to create freedom and social connection for people with disability. We do this by providing a person-centred and evidence-based approach to positive behaviour support. As an NDIS provider in Grafton, we work in line with the requirements of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
To make a referral for positive behaviour support in Grafton or Yamba, contact us on 1300 694 625 or make a referral on our website.